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He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
(Colossians 1:13 – ESV)
(Colossians 1:13 – ESV)
In looking at this verse and the verses surrounding it, Paul is saying how God has qualified us for the inheritance of the saints in light (Ephesians 1:18) and is laying out reasons to be thankful to the Father (vs.12). If you are strengthened with all might (vs.11), then you will give thanks (vs.12), and you will give thanks by acting in accordance with what God has done with endurance, patience, and joy (vs.11).
Giving thanks to God through Jesus Christ is more than putting “in Jesus name” on the end of our prayers. It is both word and deed (Hebrews 13:15-16 / Colossians 3:17, 23-24 / 1 John 3:18). Imagine you gave two children each a bicycle. Which child would truly be giving thanks for that item you gave to them: the one who did it with just words, and never rode or took care of the bike, or the one who put it to use? It is the same with that wisdom you imparted to them, or the wisdom God imparts to you. Because of Christ, you are a member of the kingdom of God. In heaven, where God’s kingdom is made most manifest, there is no sin, no rebellion, and no darkness (1 John 1:5). To give thanks is to reflect the light that you have been given.
Think about it like this. In the world, if you have been transferred to a different job or different department, you begin to work for a new boss, under the rules of the new department, and according to the particular company standards. You have to learn the new system, and you have to grow in your knowledge of the job in order to be effective. What Paul is saying is that if you have been strengthened with might, you will have endurance, patience and joy, and by doing this you will be giving thanks, proving that you have been qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints and proving that you have been delivered from darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the beloved.
He has delivered us as to eternal status, but also as to temporal character, from the dark power having its claim on us, and also from the darkness having power over us now (Romans 6:14-23 / Ephesians 2:1-6, 10, 6:12). Being delivered from sin’s penalty also carries with it being delivered from its power (1 John 1:6). We are transferred but we must act in accordance with that truth to realize we are transformed (Romans 12:1-2 / Ephesians 4:22-24 / Colossians 3). You focus on the indicative of who you are in Christ, and the imperative of acting like it follows.
There is no middle ground; there are only two kingdoms (if you think you can ride the fence realize the devil owns that). You cannot be delivered from one without being transferred to the other, when you are rescued from something you are rescued to something. You cannot be transferred without being transformed. We are not talking about a degree we are talking about whose domain are we in and whose dominion are we under. Who is your king; if it is still yourself, you are still in the kingdom of darkness (Philippians 3:18-21).
To act in accordance with this doesn’t mean that we are sinless, but it means we sin-less. We are striving towards the light, and not retreating again into the darkness, we realize (we make real) the fact that we are free. This means we act like it, we act like we are free from our sins. When we let a little darkness get in, or however it gets in, we see it for what it is, and we rush to get back to God. If your destination is heaven your destiny is holiness.